Posted in June 2010

Watch Hulu Outside the US using Widecap

In my earlier posts on Pandora, I talk about setting up a proxy tunnel in order to be able to listen to Pandora even though you are outside the US.  Unfortunately, trying to use this same procedure to stream Hulu and watch your favorite TV shows doesn't work.  This is because the Flash plugin that is used to play videos by most site's doesn't use the proxy settings you have defined for your browser.  

One way around this is to use a "VPN" or "virtual private network" to similarly tunnel ALL the traffic from your computer through a server in the US, forcing even Flash to go through the tunnel.  I personally used this approach for a while, using a free tool called Anchor Free Hotspot Shield,  While this approach effectively worked, it always struck me as somewhat inelegant, and to the privacy concerned out there it can be concerning.  

That's why recently I was happy to stumble across a free program called Widecap.  Widecap allows you to configure applications to start in an encapsulated mode, allowing you to direct all traffic from the process into a tunnel as defined by you.  On my media PC I have it configured so that all my Firefox traffic travels through my proxy, and this forces even Flash to bounce through my server in the United States.  With this configuration I am able to take advantage of any of the US only services out there, including both Pandora and Hulu.  The unfortunate side of this solution is that it still requires you to have a proxy available in the US.

For more information on configuring a proxy, you can see my article on setting up Pandora.  If there is sufficient interest on this topic, I'll do a step-by-step how to on configuring Widecap.
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